Supreme Court Stated That Transferring A Case To The CBI Cannot Be Denied Just Because A Chargesheet Has Been Filed






Case title: Ranoo Singh vs State of Uttar Pradesh

A division bench of Justice BR Gavai and Justice Sandeep Mehta of the Supreme Court has recently noted that declining the transfer of an investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) solely because a chargesheet has been filed in the case is not justifiable.

 The bench emphasized that the request for transferring an investigation to an impartial entity should not be dismissed based solely on the existence of a filed chargesheet.

“When serious allegations have been made by the appellant(s), the High Court should at least have assigned reasons in brief as to why the grounds prayed for transfer were not found to be sufficient”.

The court ruling pertained to a case involving Dhananajay Singh, a former Member of Parliament accused of the murder of CBI witness Ajit Singh while in police custody. Ajit Singh was fatally shot in broad daylight in Lucknow. Subsequent investigations revealed the involvement of multiple individuals, including Singh. Authorities had offered a reward of ₹25,000 for information leading to Dhananjay Singh’s arrest.

Despite being declared a proclaimed absconder, the investigation was reassigned to a Special Task Force  on the verge of the notification for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election.

The appellant, Ajit Singh’s spouse, contended that the STF failed to conduct a thorough investigation of Dhananajay Singh and only charged him with minor offenses carrying a maximum penalty of 3 years.

Consequently, she petitioned the Allahabad High Court to transfer the inquiry to the CBI. The High Court dismissed the appeal, citing the already filed chargesheet as a basis for denying the transfer of the investigation to another agency.

Dissatisfied with this decision, the appellant escalated the matter to the Supreme Court.

The apex court criticized the High Court for not providing concise reasoning for refusing the plea to transfer the investigation to the CBI.

In light of this omission, the Supreme Court overturned the High Court’s ruling and remanded the case back to the High Court for a fresh review.

While allowing the appeal, the bench said “We request the High Court to decide the petitions as expeditiously as possible and in any case within a period of six months from today. We clarify that we have not considered the merits of the matters and the impugned judgments and orders have been quashed and set aside only on the aforesaid grounds”.

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